He was wide open.
…but I actually want to see a creative, pass heavy game to get Rodgers a big game. If we get Rodgers going, we’ll have no problem getting Lacy going.
Something about Matthews being out combined with Peppers finally showing up last week leads me to believe Peppers is going to go off today at the expense of Matthew Stafford.
- This is a weird game. The Packers barely showed up last week and somehow lost to a MN team without it’s star RB and an offense led by a guy who barely knew the playbook. Yes it was their opening game at the new stadium and their defense was solid as expected. But the Packers just looked overwhelmed, out of sync, unprepared – and worst of all, like they had NO answers for what the Vike’s D was throwing at them. (Our defense was mostly pretty solid…).
- Meanwhile, in Detroit last week, the Lions puked up a game they had in the bag. It was a classic case of dumb Lions penalties/mistakes – as well as what seemed like a lack of aggressiveness – they were up 15-3 at one point and just didn’t put the game away. If they had pulled the game out last week, I’d be a lot more concerned about today’s game.
- Still, I think there are 1 of 2 possible outcomes today: an incredibly deflating loss or a blowout win by the Packers.
- Incredibly deflating loss – I’d put the chances of an incredibly deflating loss at about 25%. I don’t think it’s likely – especially considering how Detroit puked up what looked like a sure victory last week. But the Packers are without 4 defensive starters (Matthews – who is always injured…getting very annoying, Guion, Burnett and Shields). Detroit beat us at Lambeau last year. And Detroit’s offense with Jim Bob Cooter could actually be especially difficult to deal with. It is possible Detroit just comes in and takes advantage of the Packers weakened ego – and of course, it’s possible McCarthy once again just gets outcoached. If this does happen, I think the Packers will finish below .500 this year. Seriously.
- Blowout win. I’d put the chances of this at about 75%. (The one outcome I don’t see is a close game won by the Packers.) It doesn’t really make sense for me to think this considering the reasons I cited above for why Detroit could win – but also because the Packers are playing like crap and things generally really seem to be in disarray. But this is why I think the Packers will win in a blowout. The Lions will feel more confident coming into Lambeau this time around, they think they are a potential playoff team and like many teams, they have to feel reasonably confident that they know what kinds of plays are coming from the Packers offense. So why do I think the Packers win? Because of the very public and very fair criticism of both Rodgers and McCarthy lately. They totally deserve this. The offense is totally out of sorts and has been, as Packergeeks has been saying, before even last year. They both have to be feeling like if they don’t put together a solid offensive performance in this game, this season could very quickly spiral down. There is a lot at stake here. I think they pull it off today, and the offense shows flashes of what it used to be. I think we see some offensive packages we haven’t seen in a while (a FB screen anyone?). I also think playing at home will seriously elevate the performances of guys like Jordy – whose inability to separate is leading some to speculate that the injury has caused a concerning decline in his overall ability. We need guys to step up and play big – and we very badly need other guys like Abbrederis/Montgomery to get a chance. But I will also say, even after a satisfying victory, I worry that we all could get lulled into a false sense of security about this team. McCarthy and Rodgers need to think far more creatively than they have recently if this team is going to go anywhere. “Staying the course” will lead to a sub-.500 record, and possibly cost McCarthy his job.
- Packers 40, Lions 20.
Take a look at this article from Rob Demovsky. Raises some really good points looking at some statistics. Demovsky noting that the Packers have used the 3 WR set 77% of the time, validates to some extent what I’ve been saying already this season and much of last season: the Packers often appear to trot out the same lineup ALL THE TIME. Last year it got to the point where the WRs often not only lined up in similar formations, but they ran similar routes. Defenses seemed to know exactly what they were going to do.
As I’ve said before, I think there are some very clear solutions to this sameness problem: 2 TE sets (with anywhere from 1-3 WRs), 4 WR sets (with Abbrederis ideally but also maybe Montgomery), splitting a FB and/or RB out wide. I get that with a hurry up offense – which is usually a good idea – it may be more difficult to sub in different packages. But…ironically, not with planning. The funny thing is that McCarthy seems to script out practically the whole game – not accounting well enough (sometimes hardly at all) for what is actually happening in the game (hence our constant “poor game flow understanding criticisms”). So prepare the guys to be ready to jump in quickly so that they don’t slow down the flow of the hurry up offense much. Have some plays ready to go to do this.
I think Demovsky’s article, more than anything, highlights just how much McCarthy and the “system” he’s operating are behind the decline in what once was one of the best offenses in the league. One of the things we rarely see anymore is a stat line for Rodgers where he is distributing the ball to a bunch of different guys (and not just 1 catch each, but multiple catches by multiple different guys). We can get there I think but it will take a considerable shift by McCarthy in his approach to the game.
I like that they brought him in. The guy has clearly been a failure in the NFL – especially considering the hype generated for a while there. But more than anything, I like the kind of player he is – a player we badly need to serve as a contrast to our present/predictable running backs. Spiller is shiftier and quicker and would just give defenses another guy to have to account for. I hope we sign him and just give him a chance. We need an injection of fresh and different personnel on the offense.
- Ok – so the game played out a bit differently than I thought it would (predicted 250 yards rushing by Peterson). Very surprised by Bradford’s performance. I don’t expect to see that very often again – I still don’t think he’s that good. But he did play really well. The far bigger issue though, was that once again, the Packers were thoroughly outcoached. We played scared, intimidated and we had no answers, no response to what the Vikings were doing defensively. True, they have one of the great defensive minds in the game in Zimmer, but it just plain looked like the Vikes knew what was coming when on defense because our offense has become so predictable.
- We just looked like the stage was too big or something for us tonight. While we’ve sported that look from time to time under McCarthy, usually we get a second wind or something and at least make it a game. Today it seemed we were overwhelmed psychologically and we kind of checked out after they went up 17-7. You could see it on the faces (especially McCarthy and Rodgers).
- Mike McCarthy doesn’t scare anyone anymore either. And now I just get frustrated when Collinsworth and others talk about him being “one of the great play callers in the game”. He is not and he hasn’t been for a while. I think for a long time he has ridden the coattails of one the best QBs to ever play the game (though early on he did have some good creative plays…), but that magic seems to have dried up. Week in and week out, defenses do not seem surprised by what we’re putting out there. In fact, they seem to know pretty much exactly what’s coming. This is on McCarthy. We need an injection of creativity into this offense or it will just continue to wilt.
- There is something wrong with Rodgers. He doesn’t seem right. He’s playing scared and he’s getting jumpy again, which is his tendency when he’s not confident in what’s going on.He also doesn’t appear to be as dialed in and as fired up as he has been historically. I know that can happen to many players as they mature and realize that there is more to life than football. But he doesn’t seem like himself. The real Aaron Rodgers would make plays that cut against the narrative of a game. For example, when playing a good defense, he’d do stuff that made that great defense look silly. Or, if the narrative was Rodgers being incredibly accurate or whatever, he’s play right into that. Now, he plays into the narrative in a negative way – like tonight. The Vike’s D was supposed to be tough so he played almost showing visibly, his worry that that was true. He played into the narrative of this game (tough Vike’s D and their excitement over new stadium) and we lost. He needs to snap out of it with some ridiculous stats games. We all know he can do it but it feels like it’s been a while since he’s taken a game over completely with ridiculous stats. He needs a game like that badly.
- Need proof that Rodgers isn’t himself? Rob Demovsky just tweeted out that Rodgers hasn’t had a 100 passer rating in 14 consecutive games. That’s a huge fall for a guy who got constant attention for years for being the career leader in passer rating (and back then, nobody else was really even close).
- Our defense overall played decently. Holding the Vikes to 17 points should be a victory for us but not when our offense offers so little.
- Randall though, is not very good. Last year people kept talking about how good he could be etc. I see some talent for sure, but my immediate image of him is his look after getting beat again by some WR. He was AWFUL tonight.
- Schum needs to start punting the ball better. I was excited for a change at punter but he just doesn’t seem to kick the ball that far.
- I am really concerned that our WR routes are looking the same again – just like last year. The same guys seem to be running generally the same routes every time. Our running game is fairly predictable (but I think we get yards because of our O-Line). But our passing game is very predictable.
- On top of the route concerns, I am worried that our WRs again do not seem to be getting separation. Jordy can’t get hardly any separation – he still made some amazing plays but that’s a concern. I really think Abbrederis needs more time out there. I know we’re crowded back there but he’s a guy who gets open.
- Where did Lacy go for a stretch there? McCarthy yanks him at the oddest times – almost like he pre-planned for Lacy to play at certain times and will NOT consider playing him outside of those pre-planned times. Lacy finally gave us some momentum with some nice runs on a drive helping us get deep into Vike’s territory. Then on 3rd an 1 and 4th and 1, he wasn’t in the game. That didn’t make sense. It has to be difficult to get much of a rhythm when a player is used in what seems like such a pre-planned way. It’s as though McCarthy never consider how a guy is going – keep the guy with the hot hand in the game and keep giving him the ball!
- A couple more crappy losses like this one and I guarantee you we will all start hearing rumors at least about conflict between Rodgers and McCarthy. They haven’t been on the same page for the last year and a half (and they’ve also been off in most of the important playoff games over the last 5 years).
- In the end, I did predict a loss anyway. Didn’t feel good about this game. Surprising we did this with Peterson a non-factor, but I’m tiring of this coaching stuff. We need to pick it up fast. If I had one bit of advice for McCarthy for the Lions game, I would say draw up a game plan that gives Rodgers the chance to reassert himself as a top shelf QB. He’s been so bad in the last year plus (compared to his potential) that he is statistically now a mid-tier QB. And surprisingly, for a guy who seems to have plenty of confidence, I think his confidence has been shaken. He needs some ridiculous stats games to get himself going again. Let him let it fly next week.
The guy is just not that good.